By Benjamin Omoike
Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, has said that the series of tourism activities of the Ministry under the present administration are deliberately structured towards positioning the State as a major tourism destination in Africa, where the private sector can confidently invest their resources to advance the State’s tourism and entertainment sector.
The Commissioner made this disclosure while presenting the account of stewardship of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s administration in the tourism and entertainment sector in the last two years.
She said that with the development of a Tourism Master Plan that will serve as a pathway for the implementation of every tourism activity in the State, adding that the document would change the narrative in the State’s tourism sector and ensure uniformity of government programmes, plans and policies in the development of tourism.
Akinbile-Yussuf described the document as a worthwhile achievement under the administration of Mr. Babajide Olusola since two years ago, in addition to other tourism infrastructure being out in place simultaneously in different parts of the State.
With this Master Plan in place now, the Commissioner averred that the era of haphazard development of tourism activities in the State is past. “There will now be a structured guideline that must be followed for short, medium and long term tourism activities and projects.
“Apart from this, some areas of tourism activities that have not been given attention before has now been captured in the Master Plan and this will engender all-round development of every aspect of tourism in the coming years.
She explained that more attention would be given to the development of the State’s Waterfront for Tourism purposes under Beach and Leisure captured in the Tourism Master Plan, the exploration of medical TOURISM, focus on MICE (Meetings, incentives, Conferences and Exhibition) among others.
I’m her words, “We have equally identified the business side of entertainment and tourism. Beyond using tourism and entertainment as a vehicle for fun, relaxation and social integration, entertainment and Tourism remain a major source of income generation for different countries and cities of the world and we will also leverage on this aspect to boost the State’s IGR.
“We believe in creating an enduring atmosphere for Tourism activities to thrive, being a majorly private-sector driven sector. It is our belief that when businesses operate under the right atmosphere, the economic activities of the State would increase and the resources at the disposal of government would also be impacted greatly, “the Commissioner averred.
She said that within the last one year, which is the second year of the present administration, the Ministry had made appreciable progress in positioning Entertainment and tourism to occupy its rightful position.
Akinbile-Yussuf said: “We have maintained a better relationship with our stakeholders, developed policies that would guide tourism activities and also implemented programmes and projects as it relates to the fulfilment of the fifth pillar of the THEMES agenda of the administration of Governor Olusola Babajide Sanwo-Olu.